Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in mid-August, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) airplane has become the first international commercial flight to land at Kabul airport.
According to AFP, a PIA aircraft carrying a few people from Islamabad to Kabul landed earlier today.
According to an AFP journalist on board the PIA aircraft, the flight had just around 10 passengers. The journalist went on to say that the aircraft had more crew members than passengers.
On Sunday, a PIA spokesman said that the airline was eager to restart regular commercial flights, but that it was too early to predict how often flights between the two cities will run.
The spokesperson had added that flights to and from Kabul depend on “a lot of factors on the ground that are still to be managed.”
Last week, Qatar Airways flew numerous charter planes out of Kabul, mainly transporting foreigners and Afghans who had missed the evacuation.
On September 3, an Afghan airline began domestic flights.
“This is a big moment. We are very excited,” said one airport employee, dressed in a blue shalwar kameez and orange high-visibility vest.
“It’s a hopeful day. Maybe other airlines will see this and decide to come back.”
According to airport ground personnel, about 100 people were waiting to board the return aircraft to Islamabad, the majority of them were families of workers with foreign organisations such as the World Bank.
The airport in Kabul was badly damaged during a chaotic evacuation of over 120,000 people that concluded on August 30 with the departure of US troops.
With technical help from Qatar and other countries, the Taliban have been rushing to get it back up and running.